Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Phantom Manor Transcripts

Join now the spirits in nuptial doom,
A ravaging bride… A vanishing groom.

When it opened, the hauntingly mesmerizing Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris was narrated spectacularly by the late Vincent Price - who else could be better than the master of horror to guide our visit through the crumbling house. Unfortunately, too many of the French visitors understandably felt left out of the story and the narration was redone in French, never to be heard in the attraction again. Fortunately, Disney has provided the soundtrack on some of its CD releases, and I have found myself being captured by its melodic, chilling style.

For those that do not know, the Phantom Manor contains the much more explicit story of Melanie, a heartbroken bride, and the Phantom, a villainous creature who will never allow the young bride to be with her true love. This change from the implicit story of the classic Haunted Mansion, very much up to the guest as to how it is read, has often divided opinion - including prompting severe criticism from the original Imagineers that created the Disneyland original.

What I have found very interesting is the new script that was written for the attraction. I have transcribed it below, do give it a read. What is fascinating is how the script writer has reinvented and reimagined the lines most Disneyland fans know by heard in new ways. Do you sense a 'disquieting metamorphosis'? Well now it will be examining the changing portraits in the gallery before boarding your doombuggy, not in the stretching room.

Phantom Manor
Ghost Host Introduction Transcript

Transcribed by Cole Younger


Where hinges creak in doorless chambers, where strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls, where candlelights flicker though the air is deathly still… This is Phantom Manor.
Welcome curious friends. You may not believe it, but beauty once lived in this house. And beauty lives here still... Show yourself! Lovely, isn’t she? Come, I have more beauty to show you.
Our tour begins here in this gallery where you gaze upon the sweet innocence of youth. Ah, but things are not always as they seem. Can it be this room is actually stretching? And notice this: this chamber has no windows and no doors, which offers you this chilling challenge… to find a way out. Of course, there’s always my way.
Oh I didn’t mean to frighten you. Come, let us continue our tour. There is much to see, so look alive, and stay together. I’d hate to lose you… so soon. As you travel past these priceless works of art, perhaps you sense a disquieting metamorphosis? Of course, it’s only a trick of the light. The real beauty of this house awaits us farther on. There’s a party in your honour, and she’ll just die if we’re late. And now curious souls, a carriage approaches to take you to the party and beyond. I’ll leave you now, but I’ll be waiting for you on the other side. Have a frightfully good time.
- - - - -
As well as this, Leota makes a return but her rhymes are now different, and alternate between English and French. David G. Ravenswood, of Ravenswood Manor, wonderfully provides a translated script of her lines.
Phantom Manor
Madame Leota Transcript

Transcribed by David G. Ravenswood

Goblins and ghoulies, creatures of fright...
We summon you now, to dance through the night.

Esprits et fantômes sur vos fièrs destriers,
Escortez dans la nuit la belle fiancée.

(Spirits and ghosts on your proud stallions,
Escort the beautiful bride through the night.)

Warlocks and witches, answer this call,
Your presence is wanted at this ghostly ball.

Des douze coups de minuit aux matines sonnantes,
Nous valserons ensemble, macabre débutante.

(As the bells strike the twelve knolls of midnight,
We shall waltz together, gruesome debutante.)

Join now the spirits in nuptial doom...
A ravishing bride... A vanishing groom.
- - - - -
Finally, Little Leota returns once more, beckoning the guests to return soon.
Phantom Manor
Bride's Farewell Transcript

Transcribed by David G. Ravenswood

Revenez, revenez! Vous venez à peine d'arriver, et je me meurs de solitude.
(Come back, come back! You've just arrived, and I'm dying of loneliness.)
Hurry back! Hurry back! Be sure to bring your death certificate. We're just dying to have you.
- - - - -
To some, the Phantom Manor is an inferior, dictatorial version of the classic Mansion. We are no longer experiencing our story, we are experiencing Melanie's. But for me, I applaud Imagineering's attempt at reimagining a cherished attraction instead of duplicating what has already been done. Some may like Mansion, some may like Manor, but thanks to the Imagineers' bravery in imprinting the new generation's signature on their work, at least we now have that choice. Phantom Manor does some things spectacularly successful, and truely is hauntingly beautiful in many places.
And with Mystic Manor soon reinventing the classic even more dramatically, it will be interesting to see what nods to the original Lord Henry Mystic's house will hold.